15 Fantasy Football Transactions for Week 7
Player A is a wide receiver for a team that's generally struggled throwing the ball this year. He's leading his team in targets, and has 20 receptions for 268 yards and a single touchdown through 6 games.
Player A is owned in 92% of ESPN.com fantasy leagues.
Player B also catches passes in a poor passing attack. Player B leads his team in targets, and has 30 catches for 311 yards and zero touchdowns in the same amount of games as Player A.
Player B is owned in 1.3% of ESPN.com fantasy leagues.
Player A is Greg Jennings and Player B is Allen Robinson. One guy is a big name with an impressive career résumé, while the other is a rookie looking to build a résumé. And because of this, we've got a 90% discrepancy in ownership percentage.
I'd rather own Robinson.
Add Allen Robinson
As I mentioned, Allen Robinson leads the Jaguars in targets through six weeks with 46. Considering he saw just three in Week 1, that's pretty impressive.
For whatever reason, Allen Hurns (11.9% ownership), Cecil Shorts (85.7%) and Marqise Lee (1.6%) each have higher ownership numbers than Robinson. This comes despite the fact that Robinson has seen 6, 10, 7, 11 and 9 targets since Week 2.
If you're in a PPR league, Robinson should definitely be owned. Even if you're not, he has enough upside in a youthful, growing offense to make him worthwhile.
Drop Greg Jennings
Meanwhile, Greg Jennings has yet to see more than seven targets in a single game this year, and hasn't even hit that mark since Week 3. (Remember, Allen Robinson has essentially done this each week.) Through six weeks, he has a Reception Net Expected Points (NEP) total that ranks 28th of 46 wide receivers with 15 to 25 catches. He doesn't have a lot of upside in the youthful Vikings offense, and there's no reason to roster him in most standard leagues given the options elsewhere.
Add Carson Palmer
Carson Palmer returned after suffering a nerve injury in his shoulder, and posted a solid 17.7 standard fantasy points. His only other game came in Week 1 where he scored 21.1 points against the Chargers.
Given his weapons, we should expect these types of performances from Palmer. His next two matchups are against Oakland and Philadelphia, too, which are two teams that have been generally porous against signal-callers this season in terms of fantasy points allowed. Adding him this week gives you a nice multi-week streaming option with the possibility of QB1 numbers over the course of the rest of the season.
Buy Rueben Randle
Folks may not realize this, but entering Week 6, Randle had two straight weeks with 10 targets. What's even more important for fantasy owners is that Randle's second in the NFL in red zone targets with 12, only behind Jordy Nelson. He's only scored twice this year, but we should expect a little regression to the mean.
There's reason to believe that Randle will be a rock-solid WR2 from here on out, with rookie Odell Beckham stealing some looks as well.
Sell CJ Spiller
No, CJ Spiller didn't get hurt on Sunday. He played just 12 snaps compared to Fred Jackson's 52, and he's been completely outplayed by the 33-year-old this season - Spiller has the fourth-worst Total Net Expected Points score at the running back position, while Jackson is ranked 10th.
There's no reason to trot CJ Spiller out in your starting lineup, which makes him sell-worthy. If owners are into his big-play ability - or just his name - jump on an opportunity to trade him.
Add Andre Holmes
Over the Raiders' last two games, Andre Holmes has totaled 19 targets, 6 more than any other receiver on the team. Over this span, Holmes has 9 catches for 195 yards and 3 touchdowns. Among Raiders pass-catchers this year, only James Jones has a higher Net Expected Points total, but he's done so with six more targets and nine more receptions. Holmes, on a per target basis, is by far the most effective wideout for Oakland.
Holmes is a physical freak who compares favorably to Larry Fitzgerald. If Derek Carr can continue to grow as a passer, and if Holmes keeps seeing snaps, there's reason to believe he'll be relevant in fantasy football.
Drop Chris Johnson
So far this year, Chris Ivory has a Rushing NEP close to 5.00. Chris Johnson's is -6.44. Johnson's been awful through the air as well, seeing a Target NEP, which measures the points added on all targets towards a particular player, of -8.38. In other words, the Jets have lost over eight points through the air when they've targeted Chris Johnson this year. That's the worst score for any running back in the league.
He doesn't need to be rostered in normal-sized leagues. Even if he breaks a big one, it'll be far too unpredictable to have him in your lineup.
Buy Ben Tate
I mentioned this last week, but the Browns and Ben Tate have a very run-favorable schedule upcoming. They did work on the ground against Pittsburgh in Week 6, and Tate scored a pair of touchdowns as a result. They'll now face Jacksonville (14th against the run according to our metrics), Oakland (20th), Tampa Bay (1st), Cincinnati (32nd), Houston (10th) and Atlanta (31st) over their next six contests. Though Tampa Bay's ranking is high, keep in mind that they're still allowing the third-most points to the position this year thanks to game script and volume against.
Tate has 47 carries over his last two games, so he's clearly the man despite solid play from Isaiah Crowell. Both backs can be fantasy relevant down the stretch.
Drop Terrance West
Speaking of the Browns' running back situation, you can safely drop Terrance West after being a healthy scratch against Pittsburgh. The team seems to now like Crowell more, and because he performed well, there's no reason to believe things will change.
Add Jerick McKinnon
It's about time.
Against Detroit, Jerick McKinnon touched the ball 17 times to Matt Asiata's 3 in what was the right move by the Minnesota Vikings. As we wrote about during draft time, McKinnon actually compares to Adrian Peterson, while Asiata's plodding style compares to a dad.
McKinnon hasn't necessarily outperformed Asiata so far this season according to our numbers, but he's a raw player who has a lot of room to grow. Minnesota's move to McKinnon as the primary back this week makes total sense given his potential, and we should expect him to see the bulk of the carries in Minnesota moving forward.
Buy the Panthers' Passing Attack
When adjusted for strength of schedule, our numbers actually see the Carolina Panthers' passing attack as the fifth best in football. Cam Newton is close to being a top-10 quarterback, while wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is the eighth-best wide receiver in terms of Reception NEP, or points added on catches only.
I've brought this up in the past, but it's time to buy this passing attack. Upcoming for Carolina through the end of the year is Green Bay (15th against the pass), Seattle (a surprising 26th), New Orleans (30th), Philadelphia (12th), Atlanta (29th), Minnesota (11th), New Orleans (30th), Tampa Bay (32nd), Cleveland (22nd) and Atlanta (29th). With Newton finally showing off his legs on Sunday and Benjamin seeing the 11th-most targets in the league at wide receiver, both should be high-end assets at their positions moving forward.
Sell Tom Brady
Brady came through with his second straight solid performance, but we shouldn't be trading for him just yet (well, you shouldn't really ever trade for a quarterback). His upcoming schedule isn't awful, but let's not forget where Brady was prior to their Week 5 game against the Bengals: the bottom of the barrel.
He still sits 15th in Passing NEP among quarterbacks this year, and his Success Rate, which measures the percentage of positive plays made by a player, ranks 22nd in the NFL. He's a big-name player that may now hold some value, and because of this, I'd look to get rid of him.
Add Chicago's Defense
The Bears defense has played better than most realize this year, and now rank 16th according to our Adjusted Defensive Net Expected Points metric. They've also created turnovers, and are a top-12 defense in terms of fantasy points scored.
This week, Chicago gets a Miami offense that, sure, is playing better, but has allowed the 11th-most points to opposing defenses in fantasy. Chicago's owned in less than one-fifth of leagues out there, making them a viable defensive streaming option at home.
Add Brandon Bolden
So here's the deal. Stevan Ridley's now out for the year, meaning the Patriots have to fill the void of a running back who often times saw 15-plus carries in games. The problem is that its Bill Belichick and the Patriots, so figuring out who Ridley's fill-in will be is incredibly difficult.
For now, I'm going with third-year man, Brandon Bolden. According to our metrics, he's been a very effective runner during his first two years in the NFL, playing well above expectation and seeing a Success Rate that only top backs usually see. Granted, his role in the New England offense has never been significant, but it's certainly a good sign.
Running backs James White and Jonas Gray may get looks as well, making it sort of a mess in the backfield. But I'd play it safe and add Bolden.
Add Jordan Reed
Welcome back, Jordan Reed!
You may have forgotten, but Reed is really good at football. Among all tight ends a season ago, Reed ranked 12th in Reception NEP. What's so impressive about that ranking is that Reception NEP is a cumulative statistic, and Reed only played nine games, starting four. In truth, within the top-15 tight ends, no player - not even Jimmy Graham - was more efficient per target than Reed a season ago.
After 8 receptions on 11 targets this weekend, it's safe to say that he's back. And he's still available in a little under half of ESPN.com leagues.